Zimbabwe – Victoria Falls
When we reach Victoria Falls town we are granted some free time to plan the activities in which we wish to partake in over the next few days spent here. We will then pay a visit to the majestic Victoria Falls and the thundering Zambezi. During the next three days, the majority of our group will choose to partake in some of the activities on offer, such as white water river rafting.
At 1700 metres wide and 108 metres high, Victoria Falls is said to be the biggest falls in the world. According to popular belief, Scottish explorer David Livingstone was the very first European to stand witness to the mighty Victoria Falls and wrote: “It has never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so wonderful must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” The local name of Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’, is used as the official name in Zambia.
Because of its enormous power and size, the Falls are embellished with countless mythologies. It is believed by the local Tonga people of Zambezi that a river god, Nyaminyami, lives in the water in the shape of a gigantic snake. The Zambezi River flooded thrice when the Kariba Dam was constructed in the 1950s, causing numerous deaths and much devastation. The locals believe that Nyaminyami became angry with the building of the Dam and thus was the entity that caused the horrendous floods. The peculiar form of Victoria Falls allows its entire width to be seen face-on from as near as 60 metres to the Falls due to the Zambezi River dropping into a deep and narrow slot-like fissure connected to a lengthy sequence of ravines. There are very few waterfalls in the world that permit this close of an approach on foot.
The Falls are created by the entire width of the river plummeting in a solitary vertical drop into a 120 metre wide chasm, whittled by the cascading waters along a breakage area in the basalt plateau. The chasm called the First Gorge varies from 80 metres deep at its west end to 108 metres in its centre. The only opening to the First Gorge is though a gap 110 metres wide, approximately two-thirds of the way across the width of the Falls from the western end, through which the entire volume of the river spills into the gorges of the Victoria Falls. Two islands, Boaruka and Livingstone, are situated on the peak of the Falls. They are big enough to divide the sheet of water, even at full flood. At less than full flood, other islands perform the task of dividing the curtain of water into dispersed parallel streams. The main streams are known as Leaping Water, Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls (the tallest) and the Eastern Cataract.
Meals: Breakfast X2, Lunch X1
Accommodation: Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel
Facilities: En-suite, hot showers, bar, restaurant, laundry
Route: Kasane to Victoria Falls +/-100 kms
Travel Time: +/- 2 hours and a border crossing
Activity Package: Victoria Falls National Park Entrance
Optional Activities: Chobe early morning game drive (Day 19 only), Zambezi Sunset Cruise, full day white water rafting, flight over the falls, full day low/high water river boarding, solo bungee jumping, morning/afternoon lion or elephant encounter